When you include the American Institute for Cancer Research in your estate plans, you make a major difference in the fight against cancer.

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The Continuous Update Project (CUP) is an ongoing program that analyzes global research on how diet, nutrition and physical activity affect cancer risk and survival.

A major milestone in cancer research, the Third Expert Report analyzes and synthesizes the evidence gathered in CUP reports and serves as a vital resource for anyone interested in preventing cancer.

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Read real-life accounts of how AICR is changing lives through cancer prevention and survivorship.

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AICR champions research that increases understanding of the relationship between nutrition, lifestyle, and cancer.

AICR’s resources can help you navigate questions about nutrition and lifestyle, and empower you to advocate for your health.

AICR is committed to putting what we know about cancer prevention into action. To help you live healthier, we’ve taken the latest research and made 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations.

May 1, 2019 | 2 minute read

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and the beginning of the outdoor season. Skin Cancer is one of the most common cancers in the U.S., but also it is one of the most preventable.

Most cases of skin cancer can be prevented by avoiding overexposure to Ultraviolet (UV) rays. UVA and UVB are the two main types of sun rays, and both cause skin cancer by damaging the DNA in our skin cells. Each year, there are a reported 2 to 3 million skin cancers worldwide and the rate continues to rise.

It is important to get active outside to help get that much-needed vitamin D from the sun, but you still need to protect yourself. Most people will get sufficient vitamin D from the sun after 5-30 minutes of exposure twice a week with unprotected skin. In addition, eating foods that are good sources of vitamin D should help too.

Here are some ways to protect your skin from the sun as the cookout season starts and pools begin to open for summer fun.

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

The evidence is clear that you lower your skin cancer risk by: limiting your time in the sun between 11 am and 3 pm from March through October; applying high-factor sunscreen frequently; and wearing a hat, sunglasses and clothes that cover your arms and legs when you are outdoors. In addition to covering up, avoid sunbeds or tanning booths because these are just as damaging as the sun. The more often you expose your skin to sun and indoor tanning light, the higher your risk for skin cancer. This is particularly worrying as indoor tanning facilities have become more accessible to younger people.

The evidence that diet may help fight skin cancer is not clear. There are several studies that suggest potential for protective help from certain foods, such as tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, and pink or red grapefruit (foods rich in lycopene), as well as some dark, leafy vegetables. But many of these findings are not conclusive and should not replace covering up or lathering on the sunscreen.

So, before you head out to heat up the grill or take that first dive into the pool, make sure that your skin is protected and do your part to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Visit the National Institutes of Health for more information on sunlight and cancer.

One comment on “Skin Cancer Awareness Month

  1. Rebecca Gardner on

    I was surprised when you said that as many as 3 million cases of skin cancer happen around the world every year. My husband started developing an oddly-shaped mole near the base of his back about three weeks ago. Thanks for helping me see the importance of getting it checked out so he can get surgery if needed!

    Reply

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